Released November 4, 2009

Two of Six New Housing Units for Empire Avenue West Fully Accessible

Six new two-bedroom social housing units, two of which will be fully accessible, are under construction on Empire Avenue West. Newfoundland Labrador Housing (Housing) awarded the $838,000 contract to ERCO Developments. The Honourable Tom Marshall, acting Minister of Transportation and Works and Minister Responsible for Housing, and Bob Ridgley, MHA for St. John’s North, made the announcement today.

"As we continue to upgrade our housing portfolio throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, we realize there is an increasing demand for smaller homes like these to meet the needs of smaller families," said Minister Marshall. "Two of these six units will also be fully accessible to ensure that people with disabilities also have access to affordable housing."

The units are being constructed with funding provided under the federal Housing Trust Funds. The anticipated completion date for this project is early 2010.

"Building homes that are responsive to today’s demographics, especially smaller family homes, demonstrates sound planning, and I look forward to seeing more of this," said Mr. Ridgley.

Recently, the Provincial and Federal Governments announced a joint investment of $93 million to build new and renovate existing affordable housing throughout the province over the next two years. Overall, the provincial contribution is $50 million, with the Federal Government contributing a further $43 million.

These current upgrades and repairs are part of Housing’s annual Modernization and Improvement program. As part of Budget 2009: Building on Our Strong Foundation, the Provincial Government will invest $14.55 million for building, renovating and retro-fitting social housing infrastructure throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

This work is in keeping with the goals of the recently released, Social Housing Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador – Secure Foundations, which outlines a new long-term vision for social housing aimed at improving the housing circumstances of lower-income households and helping to create healthier communities.

Newfoundland Labrador Housing is the province’s largest landlord with approximately 5,511 non-profit social housing dwellings province-wide, approximately 3,200 of those houses service the Avalon regional area.

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Media contacts:

Roger Scaplen
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 697-5267
Jenny Bowring
Manager, Communications
Newfoundland Labrador Housing
Donna Ivey
Communications Manager
Government Members Office
709-729-0898, 697-1424